As Term 1 ends, I would like to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of all the staff and students from Year 8 to Year 12.  This term has seen plenty of activity with sports day, competitions, musical performances, acquaintance nights, information evenings, leadership induction assembly, taste of high school days, open evenings and school tours all taking place.  Schools are communities, and are also part of larger communities, which is something that we embrace at Woodville High School. We love having our school families attend events and build connections, we love welcoming new families, and we also are grateful that we can be involved in the wider community through sports, excursions, and service opportunities.

Excellence is a principle being woven through the fabric of life at Woodville High School and is sought in every area of the school. We acknowledge that for each student excellence will be different as we recognise and accept the difference in the abilities and gifts of our students and respect their unique character. Aligned with academic excellence, we want every student to experience joy and engagement whether they are kicking a goal in football, engaged in a game of basketball, playing a musical instrument, learning a language, or leading assemblies, meetings or representing Woodville HS in the community. Our goal is to enable every student to be actively involved in intellectual and academic pursuits, co-curricular activities and come to an understanding of themselves, and the impact they can have in the community, and the world.

The newsletter will continue to reflect the diversity of skills and experiences and the unique identity of Woodville High school. It has been a term of creativity, learning, growth and this newsletter will provide you with a glimpse of the spirit that makes our School such a vibrant place to be.

State Leaders Day

As a Principal in the Public Education System, I attended the State Leaders Day at the Adelaide Convention Centre.The Minister Hon John Gardner, Rick Persse and Anne Millard reflected on the systems improvement journey. They highlighted how we will work together to achieve our vision for world class education for every student, in every class in every preschool and school. The Minister Hon John Gardner recognised the work of schools and in particular our 2020 leadership during the pandemic and school closures while achieving outstanding student results. He highlighted the two goals of the Alice Springs Declaration to provide excellence and equity for a world class system and that all Australians to become confident and creative individuals, successful lifelong learners, and active and informed community members. The focus is on building of the literacy and numeracy standards across our system to ensure all children gain the strongest foundations for their learning and gives them the keys to unlock the richness of learning across the broad curriculum and be active participants in our community, society, and economy.

Ambition to deliver a world class education for all children and young people in our state requires us to lean in together with the education department and education system. Rick Persse wants us to be one of the best education systems in the world by 2028. He is committed to every child being known, cared for and understood and supported in their growth. Every student to have the options they deserve. To move from good to great we need to achieve continuous learning growth and have more young people achieving at higher levels. Woodville High school is committed to this vision and will continue to work with families as partnerships are powerful enablers of learning and wellbeing. We recognise that our school exists within a local community, and therefore, cannot thrive without partnerships with families, community, business, and industry to achieve success for all. Our focus at Woodville High School is a dynamic and rigorous curriculum that will maximise student growth and achievement. We will continue to challenge our students in a supportive, progressive environment and help them discover who they are, what they are capable of and prepare them for life beyond school. Importantly, we want to ensure that our students have the literacy, numeracy and digital literacy, disciplinary knowledge, social and emotional capabilities they need to thrive now and throughout their adult life.

Student Leadership

Student Leaders were inducted and acknowledged at a whole school assembly where they were formally presented to their school. They led the assembly and shared their vision for their school, a vision for change that ignites the schools vision bringing cohesion to the improvement effort. We invited Bruce Djite currently Adelaide United’s Director of Football to address the students on leadership as a journey of self-development. Bruce highlighted his belief that leadership is about influence cultivated over time and the capacity to develop a clear sense of purpose, establish goals, reflect and act responsibly to impact positive change in the communities in which we live. It is not about authority, position, or status but influence of people, events and circumstances for the better. He shared his leadership journey and the importance of having a voice to elevate values, opinions, beliefs, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds of individual students and groups of students in the decision making of their school.

Our Student Leadership will amplify and elevate the voices, gifts, aspirations, concerns, and challenges of young people and their communities. As a school who is rich in diversity, we will foster an inclusive culture and be proactive in ensuring our student voices are diverse.

Students will be given the opportunity to lead their schools and are empowered to have a real impact on learning, wellbeing of others and the school environment. Being heard and listened to connects students to the School and encourages them to find and express their own unique and authentic voice.

Student participation in school-level decision-making increases students’ sense of agency, feelings of belonging, and civic efficacy. It also has the potential, when made available to all students, to move schools toward a more equitable dialogue that explicitly incorporates, acknowledges, and values a diverse array of perspectives. This is especially important when most of the students in our school come from different cultural backgrounds.

This student leadership structure will also empower teachers, families, and community members to continue building and maintaining a positive school climate and advancing equity within our school. Such a collective leadership model recognizes the unique value and expertise that every participant brings to the exercise of power and responsibility—including students with first-hand knowledge of school operations.

Democratic spaces in schools privilege all voices and leads to inclusivity of students in the decision-making process and active leaders. Students are experts about how the school is operating and how true it is to the school vision. They are best placed to identify what changes are required.  All students have the capacity to lead, and everyone’s voices will be valued and heard at Woodville High School. At the assembly I presented to students several different ways in which their individual voices will not only be heard but nurtured, and this is an important feature of the School. When the leader in each of them is liberated extraordinary things can happen. Students are currently in the process of finalising their Leadership Charter and a conceptual map that outlines their roles and responsibilities to the school community.

Harmony Day

In Week 8 the students creatively and enthusiastically celebrated Harmony Day and acknowledged Bullying No Way Day. The day was pivotal in understanding and celebrating diversity, creativity, and success. Woodville High School’s rich cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and one of the main reasons I am honoured to be leading such a school. Students past and present are acknowledged on this special day as their ancestries have contributed to building such a harmonious school and community. Harmony Week is about inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging for everyone. Harmony Week provided the opportunity to reflect on what brings us together, and our unique Australian identity. Inclusivity and reciprocity in our multicultural school is to be celebrated and I would like to acknowledge the staff, families and students who built such a great school. This day was designed to celebrate this diversity, unite us, raise awareness, and promote positive action throughout the school and as such, I would like to thank Michelle Moore, Laila El-Assaad and all the Staff who made the Harmony Day celebrations such a successful cultural experience.

Education Director’s visit Friday 26 March 2021

On Friday 26 March 2021, Paul Newman our Education Director met with me regarding school improvement planning, processes and systems, reviewing and evaluating impact, student performance and quality teaching. Together we walked into classrooms on Friday to speak with staff and students.

It was an incredible privilege to walk into the classes and witness the engagement of young people in learning activities that were collaborative, collegial, and focused on learning outcomes. Paul and I experienced an inclusive learning community where students confidently engaged with their peers and teachers and were eager to share their learning experiences with Paul and I. It did not take Paul long to discover what makes Woodville High School such a special and unique place. 

Term 1 School Reports

The Term 1 reports will be distributed on Friday 9 April 2021 and we encourage families to discuss the report with their child and invite them to share their own reflection on their academic performance: their own attitudes and behaviours. The Student Reports provide families with an on-balanced judgement of student achievement according to the achievement standards of the Australian Curriculum and performance standards of the SACE. The student reports are an essential element in the partnership between teachers and families. As such, I encourage families to attend the Parent and Teacher Evening that is being held on Wednesday 28th April 2021, to discuss student progress, achievements, and any concerns about their child’s education.  Reporting is a means of providing feedback from assessment and to provide parents with a clear and comprehensive picture of their child as a learner. Student progress in each learning area is assessed by our teachers to determine levels of understanding, skill, effort and application. These assessments inform both our ongoing teaching and learning program and the timely and targeted feedback given to our students. Improving communication with families and allowing them to better “look into the classroom” via new digital platforms and online tools will continue to be a focus for Term 2.

In conclusion

Thank you to the students, staff and families who have supported the School throughout Term 1 and contributed to making it such a success.  As Term 1 ends I am proud that throughout the School there is a sense of hope and optimism for the year ahead as we continue our improvement trajectory.

I wish all the Staff and Students of this vibrant community a wonderful holiday and hope it brings renewal of spirit and many special memories with family and friends.

Anna Mirasgentis